Socioeconomic Inequalities and Land in Honduras

Paraguay is not the only country facing political conflict and turmoil over the historically poor distribution of land. In Honduras, landless farmers and the tiny minority of landed elite are also finding themselves increasingly in conflict.

[L]and seizures have inspired similar takeovers elsewhere in Honduras, alarming the nation’s business class and raising fears of spreading political violence. They also have become a rallying point for a broad leftist coalition that has grown around ex-President Manuel Zelaya since he was ousted in a coup that bitterly divided the country three years ago.

“This is a project about land for farmworkers, a political project in which we have invested everything, a life project which must triumph not only here but in all of Honduras,” said Angel Flores, a 54-year-old former bricklayer who is now a leader of the occupation, as a pair of young men nearby practiced their marksmanship with semiautomatic pistols.

This is not to say that Honduras will work out just like Paraguay, for any number of reasons. However, it is yet another reminder of how the historic concentration of land in the hands of a tiny number of people who come to control the economies and politics of Latin American countries continues to shape social inequality and struggle to the present.

About Colin M. Snider

I have a Ph.D. in history, specializing in Latin American History and Comparative Indigenous History. My dissertation focused on Brazil. Beyond Latin America generally, I'm particularly interested in class identities, military politics, human rights, labor, education, music, and nation. I can be found on Twitter at @ColinMSnider.
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